Make nonviolent dietary choices

To the Editor:

Meat and dairy consumption is indisputably linked to heart disease, obesity, increased cancer risk, osteoporosis, impotence, and a plethora of chronic diseases, all of which are largely preventable through plant-based diets.

Further, if we claim to be moral beings, we must stop slaughtering sentient beings (animals that can, like us, feel) when nonviolent dietary choices are readily available.

Buying meat and dairy is perpetuating unnecessary violence, and this truth cannot be obscured by arguments of habit, pleasure, or convenience. What we practice, we get good at; and if we practice violence, either directly or through our consumer choices, we become good at rationalizing violence. If we wish to have a non-violent world, we must recognize that peace, environmental sustainability, and good physical and spiritual health are matters of choice. At a fundamental level, peace begins on our dinner plates, with vegan diets.

Betsy Wosko

West Linn

Candidates stop negative ads

To the Editor:

I have a word for all candidates in this election - if you have nothing to say but ugly words about your opponents, then you have LOST my vote!

As an example, Mike Erickson was an unknown name to me when I first heard his television ad slamming Darlene Hooley. He had the poor taste to end the ad by saying, 'I approve this message.'

My first reaction was to say 'Well, you should not have approved this message.' Either he has accepted the advice of an unwise campaign manager or he has very poor judgement. In either case, I do not want that kind of person to represent my interests.

Please do not rant and rave about the poor job you perceive others to be doing, instead, persuade me why I should vote FOR you.

Alice Johansson

West Linn

Babbitt was left off city's list

To the Editor:

Michael Babbitt seems to have been left off of the list of candidates for city council in the latest edition of the West Linn Update flyer. Although the title of the article stated '12 file for seats on Council' there were only 11 names listed. I noticed signs for Michael Babbitt in some of my neighbors' yards so I assumed he was running for this office but was left off.

I had the opportunity to watch Mr. Babbitt in action during his time on the planning committee, so I was pleased to see him run for a council seat. When I sat through a few planning committee meetings, I was favorably impressed with his quick understanding of the issues brought before him and his open mind to consider all sides of the issue before making what I believe were well considered decisions. He was efficient with the time spent on discussion while listening fully to the presenters. Michael is exactly the kind of city councilor that I would like to see help West Linn recover control over the fiscal challenges it currently faces.

On another topic, I am concerned with 'slates' of candidates running for office that share a particular agenda. This seems to me to be counter to the idea of a group of councilors that each consider issues before them based on their own perceptions, not on a political platform. Collusion by any three members of the council can lead to an abuse of the system. In the past, there were significant changes in the city staff, even the city manager, due to a slate of council members.

I have found the city staff to be, in large part, hard-working people that are doing their very best to help the citizens of West Linn live their lives with a minimum of red tape and a maximum of caring for the greater good of the community. They must thread their way through the inherent conflicts and opposing views of the citizens while trying to stay moderate and reflecting the desires of the majority in this city while applying reasonable interpretations of the law.

Mark Mutschler

West Linn

City apologizes for name left off

To the Editor:

The October issue of the West Linn 'Update' Newsletter inadvertently omitted Michael Babbitt's name from a list of candidates running for positions on the West Linn City Council in the Nov. 7, 2006 election. The editor regrets the error.

John Atkins

West Linn Update Editor

Erickson can't buy seat in D.C.

To the Editor:

Darlene Hooley, our representative in Congress, is being challenged by a person with no record of public service or accomplishments for the public good. About all he can do is conjure up a campaign of nasty distortions.

Despite the efforts of the ruling party of wealth and special interests, Darlene has made progress in combating meth abuse, securing equipment for our armed forces, stopping identify theft, funding for our schools and more.

Her opponent can only be expected to support his party in benefits for big corporations, tax breaks for the wealthy and erosion of our social programs. He seems to think he can buy a seat in Congress with his own money. Of course, he would be right at home with the others of his party that distort the truth for the benefit of their sponsors.

Now we read that, with money from a Texas millionaire, a group from California called Economic Freedom Fund is paying for more ads to distort Darlene's record. This is the same group that brought us the 'swift boat attaches' on John Kerry that were proved to be so wrong.

Darlene Hooley has represented our interests, the people's interests, honorably and honestly. We are fortunate that she is willing to continue to serve us. By any measure, Darlene Hooley is by far the best choice to represent us.

Henry Germond

Lake Oswego

Hughes will be independent

To the Editor:

I support Mike Hughes for West Linn City Council. I have known Mike Hughes for over seven years. Mike is very energetic and has always given his time and resources to volunteering in his community. He is a current member of the West Linn Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, as well as a current member of West Linn Baseball Association. He has coached baseball and football in West Linn over the last seven years and was co-tournament director for two regional Cal Ripken baseball tournaments held in West Linn that brought in a lot of business to our community.

I support Mike Hughes for West Linn City Council because he the type of person that will be an independent vote. I do not believe in slates of candidates. When you vote for people running as a group that is exactly what you get. You end up with 'groupthink.' This is the type of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a group, like a slate of candidates. West Linn does not need more of this type of thinking. Thinking in this manner discourages creativity and individual responsibility.

Mike Hughes will look at each individual issue, encourage open debate on the subject and listen to both sides of the argument and then make a decision on the facts of the argument. Mike has an uncanny ability to encourage open debate, and bring people together on opposing sides of an issue. I am voting for Mike Hughes for city council, not because we will agree on every issue, but because we won't. Mike truly is an independent voice of reason and that is what we need on the West Linn City Council and that is why I am voting for Mike Hughes.

Daryln Nowack

West Linn

Backa will

support schools

To the Editor:

Oregon taxpayers are being asked to finance hundreds of millions dollars in bonds to pay for new schools, because in Oregon there is no secure system of paying for the additional schools required by development. The Oregon System Development Act of 1989 prohibits cities from collecting the cost of building schools from developers. Oregon cities can charge developers for the sewers required by development, but not for schools.

And cities cannot stop subdivisions because their schools are bulging at the seams: the Oregon Building Industry Association has seen to that. In 1995 they had the legislature pass HB 2501 which prevents cities from denying subdivisions based on the impact that growth has on schools.

Sounds like the taxpayers and the kids need new legislators, and Bev Backa will be a legislator that kids and their parents will love. If you vote for Bev, she will vote for new schools to be funded by developers, not by taxpayers.

John Kovash

West Linn

Backa helps families, kids

To the Editor:

As the mother of an 11-year-old daughter and a West Linn resident, I have a strong interest in who represents my interests in District 37. That is why I believe that Bev Backa is the best choice for office.

Bev doesn't just pay lip service to issues involving families and children; she has worked as a manager for three statewide non-profit organizations helping to establish programs for families and children. As such, Bev has experienced firsthand what challenges many families are facing on a daily basis. In contrast, her opponent, Scott Bruun was given a 0 percent rating on his voting record by Oregon Stand for Children.

One of the main reasons I chose to make West Linn my home was the beautiful scenery with lush vegetation and trees and quaint neighborhoods. Bev's stand on growth is that it should involve land use planning and moderate and managed growth. Knowing Scott Bruun's two largest campaign contributors are land developers, I feel his interests are adverse to mine.

On a personal note, I've known Bev Backa for many years. I have the utmost respect for her as an individual and confidence in her ability to represent the district.

A vote for Bev is a vote for families, education and planned, responsible land use and growth.

Carol Nevarez

West Linn

Peterson finds common ground

To The Editor:

I met Lynn Peterson after I had served on the City Council for about six months. We had been presented with a vote about crosswalks at 5th street in our community. I had voted one way and Lynn wanted to talk to me about my position. She called and asked to go for coffee, which we did. Lynn was a leader at the time in the First Addition Neighborhood Association.

During that meeting we exchanged information and perspectives. She was thoughtful, intelligent, and knowledgeable about the issue. Her demeanor was both friendly and professional. It was clear that I had been incorrect in my assessment and vote on the issue. She at no time said this, however, rather she let logic and information speak for themselves.

She, in effect, became my teacher.

After she was elected to the City Council, I continued to observe these same talents. We have not always agreed and have been on different sides of several votes. At the same time, I have come to a deep appreciation of her capabilities as an elected leader. She puts in the hard work to understand and communicate about issues. Her approach is pragmatic and problem solving. She is the kind of person who elevates the discussion, listens to others, and works hard to find common ground. She is just what Clackamas County needs on its board of commission and I urge you to support her for Clackamas County Commission.

John Turchi

Lake Oswego City Councilor

King would move city forward

To the Editor:

It is a darn clear choice for mayor. Keep West Linn moving forward or go backwards. Select the candidate that will continue to help heal the wounds or the other that helped inflict them. Continue with a conciliator and a builder or opt for a sycophant.

Norm King has both earned respect and proven his ability to lead. He has helped West Linn recover from incredible mismanagement. Norm has worked hard to regain the respect of voters. He has reduced the polarization within the body politic, eliminated the acrimony, and restored voters' rights. Consider the following: both the city manager and the police are now competent and skilled professionals, counsel meetings are far less fractious and far more productive, morale within the city staff is improved a hundred-fold, and voters now get a say in annexations and city charter issues.

Remember the costly and demoralizing effects of the embezzlement scandal, an ineffective city manager, and a miserable police chief? The cost was enormous in time, money, morale, and prestige. Norm's opponent was a yes-man, a sycophant, in the middle of that maelstrom. Consider the following: he stymied annexation requests from going to the voters, he violated his own oath of office by illegally placing campaign signs on city and state property, and he did little on council but offer homage to the then current mayor.

Norm is a quiet hardworking mayor intent on making West Linn a better place to live and work. He is a strong, competent leader in a difficult time of recovery. The voters of West Linn are astute, discerning, and know where their self-interest lies. Our future is clearly not in the past. It is a darn clear choice for mayor. Keep moving forward with Norm King or retreat to the bad old days.

John Steele

West Linn

Hooley has

done a good job

To the Editor:

We have a clear choice in who we want to represent our interests in Washington, D.C. this November, Congresswoman Darlene Hooley or Mike Erickson. For those of you who may be considering voting strictly along party lines, let me caution you to do your research thoroughly. I am particularly alarmed by Mike Erickson's fear mongering campaign commercials that link Congresswoman Hooley with Nancy Pelosi as though Nancy Pelosi, herself and mother and grandmother who has never been involved in any scandal, was some evil 'liberal' villain. First, let me say that during the last two sessions of Congress, Darlene Hooley was the ONLY Democrat to get a bill passed. That bill dealt with protecting people from identity theft, which is an enormous issue within the banking and credit community. The bill set forth stiff penalties and a method for people like us to protect our credit through credit reporting agencies. I don't think anyone in the banking community would say she is 'out of touch' as Mike Erickson asserts.

I have also found her completely receptive to working with a group I founded, Pilgrims for Christ. Our group seeks to create a dialog on the true values exhorted in the Bible, particularly Christ's second commandment to love one another. Darlene Hooley's values are our values and she should be rewarded for her wonderful service to the citizens of this state and our country.

Peggy Kirkendall

West Linn